Sylvia Xiaomeng Li


Sylvia shapes transformative urban development, robust planning efforts, and regulatory innovations to advance housing and economic equity.


Leveraging her planning, policy, and engagement expertise in government and non-for-profit sectors, Sylvia advises municipalities and institutions on data-informed and people-centered projects to empower communities, create housing opportunities, and drive equitable economic outcomes. Her practice also involves working with private actors to think beyond the physical to build diverse and thriving places.

Sylvia was previously a senior planner and team lead at New York City’s Department of City Planning where she oversaw the Department’s Manhattan West Side portfolio, shepherded transformative public and private development projects through planning and public review, designed in-person and virtual stakeholder engagement strategies, contributed to policy making in affordable housing, economic development, and public realm and infrastructure investment. In 2022, she was recognized by Citizens Housing and Planning Council with the Ibo Balton Community Planner Award for her work as Lead Planner for the city’s historic, equity-forward SoHo/NoHo Neighborhood Plan. Prior to her tenure in New York City government, Sylvia worked in economic development policy research at Center for an Urban Future, as an independent planning/GIS consultant to New York Academy of Medicine, and on planning and housing projects in China and Indonesia.

Sylvia holds a Master in Regional Planning from Cornell University, a Professional Certificate in Real Estate Finance from CUNY Baruch College, a Certificate of Sustainable Land Use from the University of Copenhagen, and a Bachelor of Engineering from Peking University (Beijing, China).

Member, American Planning Association 

Member, American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) 

Member, Urban Land Institute (ULI)

Committee Co-chair, ULI NY Women’s Leadership initiative (WLI) 

Co-chair, Public-Private Real Estate Professionals (P/PREP)